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While brands think 'social media', consumers say 'apps'

BS Reporter  |  Mumbai 

Apps, increasingly being accessed by a growing number of smartphone users, could be the next gateway to brand engagement, even as CMOs and their teams grapple with their way around social networks and online branding. The urban, educated audience is finding it easier to access apps from brands than accessing their clunky websites or interact with them on social media.

Ipsos Open Thinking Exchange (Ipsos OTX), the global innovation centre of the world's third-largest market research company, Ipsos, has surveyed adults across the world on their preferences for apps (applications for mobile operating systems) from brands, products, stores and companies.

Covering 18,513 adults aged 16-64 years across countries, it has found that 65 per cent of people regularly use such apps. India had about 1,000 people surveyed, with a slightly more educated profile than citizens from the rest of the countries from the different continents. (THE INDIAN APPSTERS)

Among the survey's Indian respondents, around 45 per cent found it easier to and faster to use an app than a website or social media page of the same brand or company (globally, 38 per cent). Around 34 per cent even preferred such apps over social media. Forty-three per cent vouched that they liked their apps to have fun, interesting and cool content.

Around 58 per cent (as against 43 per cent globally) access such apps for information on the brand, product, company or the store. As much as forty-seven per cent of them feel connected to the entity, as a result (while, worldwide it is just 17 per cent). The engagement led to 43 per cent of them offering up suggestions to these brands or companies, priceless feedback that brands strive to capture. Globally, only 18 per cent gave feedback using apps.

Thirty-eight per cent of those surveyed say they take advantage of the helpful tools offered by the apps. Not just information, 36 per cent of them also take part in contests that these apps might offer (20 per cent globally). While 46 per cent have used them to get discounts and coupons that are offered on these. Globally, there are deal hunters too since, the average is a similar 41 per cent.

Such apps have even made around 66 per cent of them to opt to follow the entity on social media.

However, conversions still need the CMOs to get cracking. Around 12 per cent say that an app has no impact on purchase. Some 14 per cent talk of a negative impact, that of becoming less interested in buying something after using an app. However, the relevance of apps in the life of an urban, educated Indian is evident from the 74 per cent who say they became more interested in buying because of the app.

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First Published: Wed, September 25 2013. 21:39 IST